Modernizing Critical Software Systems

To Seamlessly Empower Data-Driven Healthcare

Executive Summary

JBS recently worked with a leader in software solutions that provides analytics in all facets of the healthcare industry. The company provides software suites used by healthcare insurance providers, providers, and pharmacy organizations that aim to provide insights into patient health and recommendations for interventions and treatments to improve patient outcomes.

Data collection and analysis are the cornerstones of the company's software suite, and the efficiency with which this data can be collected and reported is key to executing the company’s vision. JBS was consulted to modernize a set of critical software systems using newer technologies and improved workflows. This would allow for reduced data collection times through improved performance and bolstered system connectivity and interoperability so that data could seamlessly flow between various product silos in the flagship software suite.

Challenges

The fast collection of patient health data is paramount to the success of the software platform, and the ability to consume the collected data in the various systems is critical to the analysis and reporting portion of the overall suite. The company's clients have healthcare objectives that change yearly, and they were employing a legacy desktop tool to generate dynamic patient questionnaire templates to help collect patient data in the flagship system. This tool was platform-specific (windows), non-performant, and difficult to use, which caused significant slowdowns to get the templates prepared each year for daily use by over a thousand different healthcare professionals across the country.

Secondarily, the client’s Electronic Patient Assessment system was based on collecting a series of dynamic patient data points via numerous questionnaires dynamically presented to the collecting user depending on each patient’s unique illness profiles. These questionnaires were very procedural and therefore inflexible, and the client was looking for a way to feed this system using the same dynamic data templating tool used in the flagship system. Currently, both tools had their own ways of generating these critical templates and the data produced by the collection was in different formats, requiring complex ETL processes and data manipulation, when necessary, to consume the data collected from one application in another. 

How JBS Helped

JBS architects worked with the customer’s business and development teams to design and build a new template designer tool that was centered around a single-page application (SPA) architecture using Aurelia. This enabled cross-platform usage of the tool through a web browser and used the natural rendering power of modern browsers to efficiently render forms with hundreds of questions in just a few seconds with near real-time preview functionality. This allowed the template builders to quickly iterate and generate new, complex templates in a fraction of the time for use in the flagship data collection system. The templates themselves and the collected data were represented using a simple, flexible JSON structure that reduced the size of the persisted templates and collected data and made for easier consumption of the data by other applications in the suite.

JBS architects and developers also redesigned the Electronic Patient Assessment system using the same SPA web-based architecture to be able to stitch any number of templates together dynamically using the newly developed designer tool, and because both applications were developed using JavaScript-based solutions, we were able to fully reuse the display logic from the template design tool preview in the second system, saving development time and maximizing re-use.

Finally, because both applications used the same rendering engine for displaying the dynamic questionnaires, the data collected from both applications was also unified, which means that collected health data could easily be processed for reporting using a single reporting scheme, removing the need for the previous ETL processes.

Results

JBS met client needs by employing industry best practices and an agile software development workflow. Work on both the updated templating tool and the refactor of the Electronic Patient Assessment Application to utilize it was completed in just under a year. The improved performance and increased versatility of the system helped the business collect more data faster and cheaper than before. The shift of these applications to JavaScript and maximizing the reusability of the components reduced the duplication of business logic and greatly increased the maintainability of the codebase and the ability of the organization to quickly ramp up new development resources for further enhancements.